In Patrick Vieira’s second game in charge of Crystal Palace, the Eagles recorded a 1-0 win against a strong League One Ipswich Town thanks to a Wilfried Zaha penalty.
While Vieira’s ideology and patterns of play are yet to be implemented, due to his limited time on the training pitch and the summer business still not concluded, Palace once again played with attacking freedom in Suffolk.
While it was only pre-season, and the outing was mainly about building up fitness ahead of the Premier League campaign, the second glance at the new chapter of Crystal Palace was a positive display.
Here are four takeaway’s from the match
PASSING OUT FROM THE BACK WILL TAKE TIME TO MASTER, BUT IT HIGHLIGHTS VIEIRA’S ETHOS
It was a common occurrence during the first half.
The midfield trio of James McArthur, Jairo Riedewald and Jeffrey Schlupp would receive the ball from one of the back four and instantly turn, carrying the ball forward or looking to find one of Palace’s onrushing full-backs or forwards.
Nathaniel Clyne and Tyrick Mitchell gallivanted forward when the Eagles began to attack. Both played as the most expansive outlets, allowing Ayew and Zaha to cut inside and dart towards the box.
Palace’s attacking play began with Vicente Guaita, who would roll or pass the ball out from the back. Even when under pressure from James Norwood and Joe Pigott, Guaita remained calm and looked to play out from the back rather than punting the ball long and lose possession.
FIRST OUTING FOR MARC GUEHI
Marc Guehi demonstrated an assuredness and maturity during his second-half showing.
He had an impressive eye for a pass – setting up Rob Street with a floated pass from his own half that bypassed the entire Ipswich defence.
ZAHA CAN STILL PLAY ON THE LEFT
Scoring his second goal of pre-season this afternoon, Wilfried Zaha is showing that he can still be the primary source of goals, even from a wide position.
His determination to drive towards goal saw Zaha have a handful of chances in the early stages of the first half.
Despite not hitting the target, I prefer Zaha facing towards goal rather than as the lone striker and his back to the opposition defence. He still has the explosive burst of pace and assortment of tricks to create breathing room between himself and the defence.
And Zaha emphatically put away his penalty – that he won – to keep Vieira’s pre-season win record intact.
With Eberechi Eze and new signing Michael Olise still to come back from injury, Palace have an abundance of talent and creativity waiting to be added into the squad.
MATETA LACKS CONFIDENCE, BUT HIS GOAL IS GETTING CLOSER
Jean-Philippe Mateta’s movement shows that he can be an outstanding player, but the 24-year-old is still missing that confidence to find the back of the net consistently.
Vieira’s side had three early chances in the first five minutes, with Mateta having a golden opportunity to register the opener and his first goal of pre-season.
Jeffrey Schlupp drove Palace up the pitch and unleashed Wilfried Zaha at the Ipswich defence, who cut the ball back to the waiting Mateta. However, the Frenchman, who was one-on-one with Vaclav Hladky, snatched at the chance and blazed the ball over the bar.
Mateta had another chance moments later, but the same outcome followed.
Before his withdrawal in the 71st minute, Mateta once again hit the woodwork.
Schlupp did well to drive into the box and evade the challenges of the Ipswich defence. He pulled it back to Mateta – who smartly peeled away from his marker – but the connection let him down as his shot bounced back off the left-hand post.
With Christian Benteke still away on holiday after his role with Belgium at Euro 2020, Mateta will have an opportunity to impress Vieira and claim the starting spot ahead of Chelsea away on August 14.
Next up for Vieira’s side is his first outing at Selhurst Park against Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.